How the workers with the greatest exposure to Covid are not being vaccinated

Hotel and airport check-in workers, shop assistants, baggage handlers and taxi drivers are among those most at risk of contracting Covid, new data shows.

A survey of vaccination rates for key Australian industries has identified frontline workers who are likely under the age of 40 and who have not yet had a Covid shot.

About three quarters of food and accommodation workers are under the age of 40, as are nearly two thirds of shop workers and four in ten taxi drivers.

But only one in ten Australians under the age of 40 have succeeded in getting fully vaccinated, putting 90 percent at a potentially increased risk of contracting and spreading the disease.

Check-in staff at hotels and airports, shop assistants as pictured here, baggage handlers and taxi drivers are most at risk of contracting Covid, new data shows (stock image)

A survey of vaccination rates for key Australian industries has identified frontline workers, such as this check-in worker at Hobart Airport, who are likely under 40 and have not yet had a Covid shot (stock image)

A survey of vaccination rates for key Australian industries has identified frontline workers, such as this check-in worker at Hobart Airport, who are likely under 40 and have not yet had a Covid shot (stock image)

According to government figures, about 43 percent of high-risk staff of all ages in aged care centers are now fully vaccinated.

But for airport workers of all ages, that figure drops to just 33 percent, while thousands of others currently cannot easily get a shot due to their age.

“Domestic aviation and airport personnel are not currently on the priority list for vaccines,” James Goodwin, Chief Executive of the Australian Airports Association, told the organization. Herald Sun.

And those under 40 have no access to the vaccine at all. This includes employees such as baggage handlers, security screeners, cleaners and terminal staff.

About three-quarters of food and accommodation workers are under the age of 40, like this Melbourne hotel staff, as are nearly two-thirds of shop workers and four in ten taxi drivers (stock image)

About three-quarters of food and accommodation workers are under the age of 40, like this Melbourne hotel staff, as are nearly two-thirds of shop workers and four in ten taxi drivers (stock image)

Only one in ten Australians under the age of 40 has been able to fully vaccinate, putting a 90 percent risk.  Here you can see medical staff in Melbourne doing a Pfizer jab.  prepares

Only one in ten Australians under the age of 40 has been able to fully vaccinate, putting a 90 percent risk. Here you can see medical staff in Melbourne doing a Pfizer jab. prepares

‘[They are] at the forefront of exposure to passengers from across the country, including those flying in from the Sydney and Melbourne hotspots.”

He added: ‘Governments must prioritize this vital workforce and give access to the vaccine now.

“It shouldn’t be up to individual employees to try to get vaccinated.”

Hotel quarantine workers are also still not a priority for vaccination, said Michael Johnson, CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW.

“They have been on the front lines of the fight against this pandemic since it hit our shores,” he said.

Only 33 percent of airport workers of all ages are fully vaccinated, and thousands more are currently unable to easily get a shot due to their age.  Seen here is Brisbane Airport (stock image)

Only 33 percent of airport workers of all ages are fully vaccinated, and thousands more are currently unable to easily get a shot due to their age. Seen here is Brisbane Airport (stock image)

He called for a nationwide rollout of vaccinations for all quarantine hotel works, similar to those in NSW.

It’s a similar story in other industries where the age of employees is likely to be younger.

The government has so far prioritized older Australians in the rollout of vaccinations, and issues with Pfizer supplies and conflicting medical advice about the AstraZeneca shot have also severely limited access for those under 40.

Government data shows that only 10 percent of the population under the age of 40 – mainly between the ages of 25 and 39 – is now fully vaccinated.

Government data shows that only 10 percent of the population under 40 - mainly between the ages of 25 and 39 - is now fully vaccinated (stock image)

Government data shows that only 10 percent of the population under 40 – mainly between the ages of 25 and 39 – is now fully vaccinated (stock image)

The government has so far prioritized older Australians in the rollout of vaccinations, and issues with Pfizer supplies and conflicting medical advice about the AstraZeneca shot have severely limited access for those under 40.  Here's the queue for shots at the vaccination hub in Sydney's Homebush

The government has so far prioritized older Australians in the rollout of vaccinations, and issues with Pfizer supplies and conflicting medical advice about the AstraZeneca shot have severely limited access for those under 40. Here’s the queue for shots at the vaccination hub in Sydney’s Homebush

As a result, large parts of the Australian workforce in a key demographic, with regulars and the public, are still unvaccinated.

The government data only breaks the statistics down by age, not occupation, so there are no specific numbers for what proportion of the unvaccinated among 40-year-olds are teachers or pharmacists or anything like that.

But research from unions like the Transport Workers’ Union and Australian Nursing provided insight into the extent of the problem among their members.

And when combined with the overall distribution of workers under 40 in every occupational group across Australia seen in the box below, it reveals the huge potential exposure to covid in the community.

Large parts of the Australian workforce in a key demographic that regularly interact with the public are still unvaccinated.  Seen here is a young Melbourne florist at work while wearing a mask (stock image)

Large parts of the Australian workforce in a key demographic that regularly interact with the public are still unvaccinated. Seen here is a young Melbourne florist at work while wearing a mask (stock image)

EMPLOYEES UNDER 40 AT HIGHEST RISK OF ORDERING COVID

75 percent of staff in housing and food serviceThat (661,5000 employees under 40 of 887,600)

62 percent: Retail trafficfrom (807,800 from 1.23m)

62 percent: Arts and recreation (157,800 of 254,400)

54 percent: Building and construction (628,200 from 1,161m)

51 percent: professional, scientific and technical services (630,800 from 1,235m)

49 percent: information media and telecommunications (89,700 of 181,900)

48 percent: Financial and insurance services (89,700 of 181,900)

47 percent: Healthcare and social assistance (868,600 from 1,842m)

46 percent: Mining (124,600 of 270,000)

45 percent: administrative and support services (191,000 of 421,000)

44 percent: production (406,000 of 914,900)

43 percent: Real estate, renting and lettingfrom (91,200 of 211,200)

41 percent: Education and training (474,000 from 1.15m)

41 percent: Transport, mail and warehousing (260,000 of 638,200)

41 percent: wholesale betweenfrom (150,900 from 368,100)

39 percent: Public administration and security (341,500 of 866,200)

39 percent: Gas, electricity, water and waste services (58,800 of 149,500)

30 percent: agriculture, forestry and fishing (92,800 of 306,200)

.